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The Rae Dunn Cult


The Rae Dunn pottery frenzy has been compared to the Beanie Baby obsession from the 1990s. It’s made by California artist Rae Dunn, who takes influence from Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese art of finding beauty in the imperfect or incomplete. Rae Dunn home decor products have distinct features of a homemade feel and hand-written lettering. These clay artifacts are trendy among the people who like the minimal or farmhouse look but the demand continues to increase.

Rae Dunn is only sold in retail exclusively at T.J. Maxx and its sisters stores HomeGoods and Marshalls. The batches of ceramic products range from short phrases, one worded, and limited holiday collections. Since many pieces are limited edition, amongst collectors and resellers it is more competitive to find rare items.

In a viral TikTok video it shows customers racing to the shelves to fill their carts with as much Rae Dunn products as they can get their hands on. Some employees have experienced the Rae Dunn obsession firsthand with aggressive customers and customers that stalk them down the aisles as they stock the shelves. A HomeGood’s employee that asked to remain anonymous said, “There’s actually a lady obsessed with collecting Rae Dunn that we are careful of.” She said, “At times they ask and take items off the carts before we can put them on shelves.”

There have been Rae Dunn fanatics that stand outside hours before the stores open to make sure they get first pick on new shipment. “We normally get shipments everyday and the amount of Rae Dunn products that are brought in is insane,” said the HomeGoods employee.

“I would’ve never expected to have people waiting outside the store at 9:30 in the morning just to buy these products.” – HomeGoods employee

In a retail rant thread on reddit, employees comment how they’ve had to block the windows of the store’s stock room. Customers were coming at night trying to peek through the windows to see what Rae Dunn products were going to be put out the next morning. They have even asked employees to call them when new product comes in. “At our location they do ask, but we can’t call or give any information about when we get Rae Dunn items” said the HomeGoods employee.

The Rae Dunn popularity has cultivated a community among collectors. With numerous Facebook groups all over the country, it has allowed the Rae Dunn community to continue buying, reselling, and trading online. There are even online groups for targeted local cities. But the most entertaining community group is The Real Husbands of Rae Dunn Addicts.  

Although re-sellers and shelf-clearers are looked down upon in the Rae Dunn community, it doesn’t stop it from happening. Rare items can be resold online up to obscene prices but there are collectors still willing to purchase them. The retail price is usually under $20 but in the Rae Dunn world if it’s a hard item to get your hands on, it doesn’t matter if it’s resold for 10 times the value. Corporate has tried to apply new rules in order to decrease the chances of re-selling product but in many cases it is unsuccessful.

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The Rae Dunn Cult